The Glamorganshire canal, opened in 1794, runs from Cardiff to Merthyr Tydfil, with a branch to Aberdare.
Eastwards there is a station on the Brecon and Merthyr railway at Bedwas.
In Great Britain there is the South Welsh field, extending westward from the march of Monmouth shire to Kidwelly, and northward to Merthyr Tydfil.
The urban district of Barry, with a population in 1901 of 27,030, comprises the ecclesiastical parishes of Barry, Cadoxton, Merthyr-Dovan, and a portion of Sully in which is included Barry Island (194 acres), now, however, joined to the mainland.
Merthyr Tydfil >>
The older part of the urban district is included in the parliamentary borough of Merthyr Tydfil, and also shares with Merthyr and Aberdare the services of a stipendiary magistrate.
There is only one line of railway, over which several companies, however, have running powers, so that the town may be reached by the Brecon & Merthyr railway from Merthyr, Cardiff and Newport, by the Cambrian from Builth Wells, or by the Midland from Hereford and Swansea respectively.
19 a the interior was held by a system of roads and forts not yet well understood but discernible at such points as Caer-gai on Bala Lake, Castle Collen near Llandrindod Wells, the Gaer near Brecon, Merthyr and Gellygaer.
Merthyr Tydfil draws its supply from the lesser Taff, while Cardiff's main supply comes from the Great Taff valley, where, under acts of 1884 and 1894, two reservoirs with a capacity of 668 million gallons have been constructed and a third authorized.
The Central Wales section of the London & North-Western railway from Craven Arms to Swansea crosses the north-west corner of the county, and is intersected at Builth Road by a branch of the Cambrian, which, running for the most part on the Radnorshire side of the Wye, follows that river from Rhayader to Three Cocks; the Midland railway from Hereford to Swansea runs through the centre of the county, effecting junctions at Three Cocks with the Cambrian, at Talyllyn with the Brecon & Merthyr railway (which connects the county with the industrial areas of East Glamorgan and West Monmouthshire), and at Capel Colbren with the Neath and Brecon line.
It contains a small part of the parliamentary borough of Merthyr Tydfil.
In 1895 he had lost his seat in Parliament, but in 1900 he was elected for Merthyr Tydfil.
In the great strike in the South Wales coal-field in 1898 he addressed, together with Robert Smillie, huge meetings of miners, and in the general election of 1906 he was reelected to Parliament for Merthyr Tydfil.
The following towns had each in 1901 a population exceeding 10,000: Cardiff, Ystradyfodwg, Swansea, Merthyr Tydfil, Aberdare, Pontypridd, Llanelly, Ogmore and Garw, Pembroke, Caerphilly, Maesteg, Wrexham, Penarth, Neath, Festiniog, Bangor, Holyhead, Carmarthen.
Only four towns in North Wales are included in these eighteen, and the combined populations of these four - Wrexham (14,966), Festiniog (11,435), Bangor (11,269) and Holyhead (10,079) - fall far below that of Merthyr Tydfil (69,228), the fourth largest town in Glamorganshire.
About 400,000 tons of pig iron are produced yearly, and some of the largest iron-works in the world are situated at Merthyr Tydfil and Dowlais.
The Royal Institution of South Wales, founded in 1835, is housed in a handsome building in the Ionic style erected in1838-1839and possesses a museum in which the geology, mineralogy, botany and antiquities of the district are well represented, there being a fine collection of neolithic remains from the Gower Caves and from Merthyr Mawr.
In the north of the field, where the limestone crops out and supplies the necessary flux, Merthyr Tydfil has become great through iron-smelting; and in the west Swansea is the chief centre in the world for copper and tin smelting.
In Wales there are io borough parliamentary areas, all of which, except Merthyr Tydfil and Swansea town division, consist of groups of several contributory boroughs.
Each Welsh borough constituency returns one member, except Merthyr Tydfil, which returns two, so that there are eleven Welsh borough members.
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Of Merthyr Tydvil, 24 from Cardiff and 160 from London by rail.
The whole parish falls within the parliamentary borough of Merthyr Tydvil.